Interview with David Wittlinger

When did you first start writing?
I've had a pull toward creative writing since Junior High. I would write short stories about my friends and myself or create stories from scenes in movies. I dabbled in non-fiction writing for magazines after graduation but found it dull and not very lucrative. It took me until my late forties to actually sit down and right a proper full-length novel.
Where do your ideas come from?
I usually start with scenes I just imagine in my head when I'm bored. If a compelling scene comes together I'll remember it, then try to expand it with other scenes. There is a scene in Portal To Elysium where the two main characters share a kiss after getting caught in the rain. That scene I imagined over thirty years prior to placing it in a book. I had written it down as just that one event and saved it all those years until an opportunity presented itself to put it to use. The whole concept of that entire book came about from a dream I had that depicted the 'yard' where the magic happened. Again, it took many years for that memory to evolve into an entire story. Stories are sort of like snowballs; you just keep adding more material until you have enough to make a snowman.
What is your writing process?
When I have an idea for a story I try to write an outline or timeline of what needs to happen and in what order. This helps me keep track of the direction it needs to take. Then I create the characters which I will do by writing backgrounds of who they are in far more detail than will ever be used in the book. By doing this I gain a much clearer picture of who they are and can feel more connected to them. After that I begin writing the first draft. I always do the story in sequence as I feel that the ending is the payoff and if I write that earlier my motivation to fill in the middle will go away. I'm not rigid on following my outline, however. Some of the best scenes or even complete chapters come simply by letting things flow onto the page. I find that the characters and story after awhile will tell you where they want to go.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm always in awe when the characters take control of the story. One memorable moment was having my two main characters going back and forth in a stream of dialogue and the one asked a question of the other that I, as the author, couldn't answer. It was a bizarre moment. The verbal exchange was so good I didn't want to change it but I had painted myself into a corner. The answer was simply to have the baffled character admit he didn't know the answer either! This is just one example of how as you write, the characters become real to you and they can guide you to places you otherwise wouldn't have imagined. It's a weird feeling, but also amazing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not working at my paying job (I wish writing was it, but sadly it isn't...yet) I spend most of my time working on, driving and racing cars. I've been obsessed with all things automotive since I was old enough to crawl and it hasn't diminished over the years. I've restored cars, bought and resold cars, built engines, stripped them for parts, road raced them...they really are my passion. I've also recently become interested in motorcycles too. All of my stories feature vehicles that are unique and not generic.
What do you read for pleasure?
I actually read a lot of non-fiction. I like biographies, historical topics and automobile and railroad books. When I read fiction I will read a variety of things but typically character driven stories in the genres of suspense or mystery.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Paperwhite. I was reluctant to even try an e-reader but now I use it almost exclusively.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Becoming a published author historically has been difficult. The paper publishers take very few new authors each year and the competition is fierce. I've had the urge to write books since I was a teenager but knew the chances of my work ever seeing a bookstore shelf were remote; there was simply too much competition. This discouraged me from writing my stories. To me, if they can't be shared with an audience what is the point? The explosion of e-publishing has made it possible for anyone to get their work to market. Competition for readers is still fierce but at least now authors are not at the mercy of a handful of publishing houses to give their work a chance. I'm hopeful my work will find it's niche audience and need the help of my readers to spread the word. If you liked one of my books, please rate it online and tell your friends!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Brianna's Reprise is a sequel to The Strong One. When I wrote The Strong One I had no intention of making it a series or doing another story about her. As I finished The Strong One I was so enamored with her character I immediately began making notes and imagining scenes for her next adventure. Bri had such a tough start in life and is such an emotional mess I wanted her to slowly show improvement over time. Readers will hopefully want to follow along as she finds her way to being happier and less cynical. Of course, this process will require continued use of firearms! Though Bri is fictional it still pains me to write scenes where she gets beat up or injured. Hopefully we will continue to have a good working relationship.
Why the profanity and explicit sexual encounters?
It is important that readers know that these things are not included for shock value or titillation. In my Brianna books these are, in my opinion, essential to creating an honest and realistic character. There is no sex or f-bombs in Portal To Elysium because those characters don't go through life that way. Brianna's character comes from a much darker place where foul language is common whether we like it or not. Additionally, her sexual encounters depict how she looks at relationships and further illustrates how emotionally damaged she is. It is my hope that readers do not find these inclusions gratuitous and should observe that, as she evolves through subsequent stories, her tendencies will soften and become more controlled.
Published 2016-01-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Brianna's Reprisal
Price: $1.95 USD. Words: 57,260. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Twenty-four year old Brianna is trying to rebuild her life when she encounters a blonde girl in a passing car who is clearly terrified. Reporting the sighting to the police sets in motion a chain of events Brianna never expected. Infatuated with the handsome detective handling the case she begins a steamy affair that soon places her life in jeopardy. Will she have to pick up weapons...again?
Portal To Elysium
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 65,530. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Portal To Elysium is an unusual mixture of romance, mystery and heavenly fantasy. Though the book uses the concepts of heaven and the afterlife as a basis for the story it should be noted it is NOT Christian fiction. Instead, it offers a paranormal alternative to the afterlife most readers should find inoffensive. It's a love triangle between persons living...and others that have passed on.
The Strong One
Price: $1.95 USD. Words: 85,470. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Erotica » Literary Erotica
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
After nearly being killed by her mobster boyfriend former stripper Brianna escapes to try to start a new life. When her car breaks down on a deserted road she is forced to rely on the kindness of a stranger whose marriage is falling apart. As the two strangers hide together the evil boyfriend hunts them down. Author David Wittlinger mixes classic thriller elements with erotica in his debut novel.